There seems to be scams in just about every industry including the computer repair world. However, this article isnt a piece on shady computer repair technicians, this article is about scams that target computer technicians.
Here are two common scams against computer technicians that you should watch out for:
Fake Check Scam
The way this scam works is the that scammer will email you about purchasing a large amount of hardware. Since you are a smart person, you are obviously not going to send them anything until the check clears. The scammer will send you the fake check but the amount will be for more than you originally quoted. Shortly afterwards they will say that they accidentally sent you too much and ask if you could send them back the difference. So, you send the difference and a couple of days the check doesn’t clear because its fake. The scammer was never after the hardware, they were after the difference on the fake check and that’s how they get you.
Most technicians that have had this sent to them said that it mostly comes from their ads on Craigslist. Here are some common emails of this scam that Technibble forum members have seen:
How you doing? My name is [Name],l from [Location] and right now i work in [Location]. I read your description and am interested in your services,I just brought some computers and they are are laptops Pentium 4 dell computer ..i want you to Install software such as Microsoft Office and Antivirus, clean inner & outer computer components, update software to current status,Get back to me with you total cost for the services of eight computer excluding the shipping cost cus i have a shipper that will come with the computers and the necessary Softwares to you.I await your urgent response so that i can put the arrangement in order
Am [Name] by name,I live in [Location] and right now i work in New [Location] and i also sale laptop over here , I read your description and am interested in your services, I just brought some computers from [Location] and they are D510 Dell laptops. I want you to Installation of Laptops and Servers, clean inner and outercomputer components,Upgrade troubleshoot, Remove Viruses, Pop-ups, Spyware,Hardware installation, Windows installation and update software to current status.
Get back to me with your total cost for the services of eight Dell Laptops excluding the shipping cost bcus i have a shipper that will come with the computers and the necessary Softwares to you.
I await your response so that i can put the arrangement in order.
Ineed certified experience person With a commitment to making computing simple and a belief in personal.
please i need a urgent responed ok
My name is [Name],then i m 44 years old i from [Location] and right now i work in missonary school in [Location] i was the headmistress of the school. I read your description and am interested in your services,becos we just brought some computers and they are are laptops Pentium 4 dell computer at school ..i want you to Install software such as Microsoft Office and Antivirus, clean inner & outer computer components, update software to current status,and i want you to do it fast becos we are having a programme very soon then if you can do this fast for me i will make you be our pasonal computer services then i will also introduce to our branches in all the states becos i think they also need computer services too becos we just have the programe that will need inuse of the laptop for the children, so Get back to me with you total cost for the services of eight computer excluding the shipping cost becos we have a shipper that will come with the computers and the necessary Softwares to you .and also as i told you before that i want to make this fast becos of the programe that we are having very soon and you have to tell me how many days will cost to finish it after you got the laptop with you there.
so to make the payment faster i I’ll be sending you a Check for payment which i’ll like you to deduct your fees for the 8Computers and help me send the rest balance to my the shipper that will move the Computer from my place to your place for your Service because i will be going on a visit to TEXAS for a meeting . I will keep you posted of when you are likely to receive the payment. If this is okay with you let me have the follow:
I await your urgent response so that i can put the arrangement in order
I saw your ad and I was just checking if you could help me repair and
install some softwares 17 of my staffs’ PC.
I’ll await your response so as to send you more details as regards the
repair and specific softwares needed.”
Seems pretty simple, I asked for more details and I’ll let you know what the response is when I get it.. How would one go about charging for a project like this? Thanks!
I believe the est way to avoid this scam is just to simply be aware of it. Most of the emails for this particular scam are similar to those mentioned above.
The Missing Hardware Scam
Another scam that is attempted against computer technicians is when a client brings in a computer that is either not working, or saying that its slow when it shouldn’t be since it has a [high amount] of RAM.
When they bring in a computer that isn’t working, you take your time to look at it only to find a critical part is missing like the CPU, RAM, or Hard Drive. When you tell the client this, they accuse you of stealing it and if you don’t replace it they are going to tell everyone about how you stole it or sue you. Of course, to keep the peace some technicians may replace the part.
A technician on the Technibble forums said that he had two guys come in with a laptop saying that it was running slow. During the time these clients were in his shop, they kept saying “It should be fast, since it has 4 gigs of ram, fast processor, etc”. It seemed odd to this technician that they kept repeating this so he stopped what he was doing, looked at the System Properties to find that the computer only had 256mb of RAM, not 4gb. He suspected this was a scam but wasn’t certain so he told them to take the computer to Best Buy because he “couldn’t fix it” and sent them on their way.
The best way to avoid this scam is to check the computer specifications in front of them by either by powering it up which proves its not missing an essential part and look at the System Properties. If it doesn’t boot, open it up and look inside. Whatever your findings are, write them down in detail on a work order in front of them.
If you have seen other scams in the computer repair world that wasn’t mentioned here, drop us a comment. As usual, you don’t need to sign up to leave a comment and you can even post anonymously.